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Are vaccines bulletproof?

The news of a COVID-19 vaccine has been greeted positively across the world. But vaccines alone are not enough to prevent the spread of the virus.

Opinion
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By Eddie Sotto

Eddie Sotto

Imagine if the TSA announced that there will be no more bag searches or screening for weapons at airports, only that everyone must wear a bulletproof vest. Crazy? Reckless? Not so fast.

Vaccines – a false sense of security?

The same may be true with proof of vaccination being a means of entry to a theme park or stadium. The truth is that as much as vaccines protect us like a “bulletproof vest”, no one knows if vaccinated people are not still contagious themselves (none have proven to have sterilizing immunity).

US COVID vaccines opinions

They could still be spreading the virus, although they may be well. Like a vested person carrying a concealed weapon into an airport. Imagine the false sense of security vaccinated people will have in public?

We need vaccines to protect ourselves. But we must also still use rapid testing to search for the deadly weapon called contagion.

Will everyone take vaccines?

tweets Qantas covid vaccines

As the saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

The same seems to be statistically true of vaccines so far, as many fret over effectiveness, side effects, lack of data, and other reasons. Look at the uproar on social media when Qantas Airlines announced they would only admit vaccinated travellers.

A long term solution?

As the virus mutates or other deadly viruses emerge, how does a vaccine continue to protect our businesses from future outbreaks? These are all valid concerns.

The leisure industry has and always will be providing safe and carefree escapes through immersive, alternative experiences. We sell reassurance, a safe and fun alternative to the real world.

If we are ever to be close together at a ballgame, concert, boat ride or fireworks show, we have to feel that whoever we are close to is just as well as we are. It’s never us that makes us anxious, it’s that sneeze from another person.

The big issue with vaccines will be, can a theme park or cruise ship demand that you must be vaccinated to board or enter? Even if they do, is it reassuring enough to other guests to prove their vaccination digitally? How would we know without a test? Should venues rapid test all guests anyway to be sure and clear of liability?

vaccines

These are all good questions. Looking ahead, to future-proof venues versus just reacting, we are using agent-based computer modelling (where each guest has a behaviour profile) in places like theme parks as to their ‘probability of spreading’ threat on a scale of levels.

It’s useful in knowing where and how guests can spread a virus, as each space has differing characteristics, or what the effects are masked and unmasked.

Digital rapid testing

We believe that a digital rapid testing program that only allows the uninfected into a space, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not, (like an airport security screening) is the only real way of ensuring the highest degree of safety and a carefree, anxiety-free unmasked experience that people can trust and will pay to return to.

Magic Kingdom Park Reopening masks

So far, we are testing humans with digital terahertz screening technology. This can be operated without trained medical staff, in less than two minutes, with just a breath test. It is simple, safe, and frictionless.

We love vaccines, but our digital method is your cost-effective safety net. And our machine learning detection only gets better, to screen alternative strains and other viruses in order to futureproof your venue from what may come.

After all, you never want to delegate product safety to the guest.

Charts and data from Pew Research

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Eddie Sotto

Eddie Sotto

Eddie Sotto is an ex-SVP from Disney Imagineering. He runs SottoStudios, an experiential design firm focused on COVID-19 guest experience solutions. He also recently formed the futureproofexperiences.com group to address the current COVID-19 challenge.

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